Mike Napoli

Mike Napoli's hips are actually better, but he's still not going to catch

Rob Bradford
April 03, 2015 - 7:19 am

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- This should be filed under: We probably know the answer, but it's still a question worth asking. With the state of the Red Sox' catching position in some flux after Christian Vazquez' season-ending elbow injury, all kinds of possible solutions have been surfaced. Promote Blake Swihart. Trade for an established veteran. Or, how about this: reintroducing Mike Napoli to the position he played almost exclusively before arriving with the Red Sox? "Mentally I'€™ve let it go. It'€™s not even a question," Napoli said of returning to catching, even on a part-time basis. "Physically, I don'€™t know how my hips would be if I did it. I haven'€™t really thought about that. I let it go a long time ago." Napoli hasn't caught a single inning since coming to Boston after having played in 530 games at the position during his time with the Angels and Rangers. One of the primary reasons the 33-year-old pushed catching aside was due to the degenerative hip condition (avascular necrosis) he was diagnosed with prior to signing with the Red Sox. But not only did his most recent MRI -- taken last year -- reveal no issues with the ailment, the findings actually suggested he had gotten better. Napoli is at a point now where he isn't required to undergo any scheduled MRIs, and doesn't even have to take the medicine he had taken for two years. The first baseman stopped the medication prior to his sleep apnea surgery, and has remained off of it since. "I don'€™t think it has really shown that people have gotten better, although the medication is supposed to at least stop it," said Napoli of his better-than-expected progress. "I hope I don't have to take [the medicine]. The less medication the better."